The Third is "Three Years" begins to become Chekhovian in its theme of as I used to simplify it to my theatre history students "looking for love in all the wrong places. I chose her, and looking back I might have been smarter to try a more recent translation, as hers often becomes stiff, and seems to work to hard to deal with Chekhov's words. I hope some of you will look into these novels, which stand somewhat in the shadow of the short stories, for no good reason that I can tell. As well as being one of the greatest playwrights in history, Chekhov's prose is well worth the reading.
Shelves: classics , russian , short-stories. Only 3 stars, WHY?
He is the acclaimed master of short stories. In one way, that is something unarguably true. But that is somewhat based on the preconceived notion, risk of non-objectivity here that short-stories should encapsulate fractions of life, then analyze them with a vivid twist, and finally reach upon an enigmatic yet an aphoristic conclusion. He does this well, so why would I then just give it 3 stars.
That is simply due to my subjective notion in regards to judging the value of short stories. I truly indulge in and admire short stories and the virtuous value it brings about. Now the value the short story gives to me personally is made up by a few different structural factors.
A short story must truly encapsulate something, anything profoundly human. But in its short form, profundity and observation with penetration, as in "to bring out some observation of some event or action, which spotlights the essence of mankind", in order to seal the awe-inspiring enlightenment, or just to cause fascination. This is the basis for my subjective and personal "value-scale" of short-stories. Now this is where Chekov to my surprise fails utterly. He is not profound enough, not enlightening enough, simply he does not take this final step, that is needed in order to create sublime short-stories.
Some of his stories are really, really good, very observant and satirical towards certain social behavioral patterns as well as social structures in general. I must give a parallel to make this point clear, pardon me if this is insulting, but I would like to contrast Chekov with the supreme Borges. Consume any of his short stories, and you will enter a new world.
Because he is so skilled and superb that he does not only enlighten me, but he challenge my whole cognitive perception of the world. This master said himself "that he preferred to write poems and short-stories, because to be profound implies to be succinct, however that being "non-exclusive" of course. So every idea, every line, every word was in essence a forceful idea, that fused into short-stories that will never leave your being. View all 3 comments. Mar 01, Cat Noe is currently reading it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Travel is good for the mind and soul, but Zarathustra always grows weary of the world in time, and returns to his mountain home. This volume has been lurking a good while on my rainy day shelf. Every Russian author I've read thus far has had the same synesthetic overlay to their voice, like uncut rock in ice and ocean blue, sometimes rough or abrupt, but rock is never in a hurry.algregerjas.gq
The Complete Short Stories
This is my first time reading Chekhov, but the pattern holds true. As these are distinct stories, I shall treat them Travel is good for the mind and soul, but Zarathustra always grows weary of the world in time, and returns to his mountain home. As these are distinct stories, I shall treat them as such, beginning, naturally, with the first. The Steppe.
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Hauntingly beautiful, this one, and delightfully mystical in its imagery, flowing with silky ease from one event to the next But the characters! Not since Years of Solitude have I seen such a colorful cast. My pet favorite is obviously the priest, but pronounced as they were, even the to me unfamiliarity of the names didn't slow the story. Riding so far at four stars. He has my full attention, but this short novel read more like a descriptive narrative than a story, and I always walk away feeling empty when no clear resolution follows the journey. A matter of personal taste, and as memorable as the ride was, I almost feel bad, but my opinion stands.
The Duel Wow. As much as I would like to have loved this, it comes in at two stars, mostly for moral reasons. Holding off, let's start with the logical flaws. The main lead role was at best confusing. Was Laevsky a personable sort, a man people liked? Then how does he downplay every word when he plays his part? Nobody likes negativity. Was he tolerant of flaws? Well that takes kindness of spirit, real Christianity. Yet it says he's open to gossip. At best, he should have tolerated it, as any other serious flaw.
I'm confused. Unless he meant to say indulgent? Patient tolerance of some flaws in people can be very wearing indeed, but the best way to lead is by example, and one can't cure a disease without being near the subject. Though there are limits; having tried for a time to tolerate rabid atheism, and having every nudge in a better direction ignored was too much for my constitution. Encouraging flaws is another story entirely.
It did say he rescued a prostitute, though he failed to marry her, so his motives may have been mixed. And intellect and schooling leading the mess. Yet the character never seems to use them, nor could if his reading has been entirely neglected for long, so how is he allegedly holding conversations on things which he himself says he can't remember? See also Faust vs Dostoyevsky- education is evil vs stepping away from taught faith is the last rung on the ladder to enlightenment and honest faith.
Last, but still a rung, and his disillusioned priest reminds me of our Popes, who come out of that room crying every time. Henry James also makes a strong point in Turn of the Screw, where the deliberate ignorance of the caretaker was a strong contributor to the damage of the children. A silent perhaps we should say dumb, sense of lacking a tongue, and no pun intended? Unless ignorance is an excuse, and when the ignorance is by choice- "There are none so blind as those who will not see. This unfortunate woman I've only ever spoken to one such, but in light of recently accumulated information, her mental state suddenly makes more sense.
I've seen many fiction writers romanticise prostitution as a natural product of war or turmoil, and I've seen historians treat it as a normal part of some cultures. Then we watch Tolstoy or Dickens or Sinclair take a stab, and their depictions are horrifing, poignant, and bear the ring of truth, so far as I understand victim mentality. I've never once seen the subject treated with such obscene levity, however.
A commentary on the author. He wasn't abusive. That's made clear. Such a choice has no logical backing, as written. He was so devastated as to be incapacitated for a time. Very well, sensitive people often have high spirits, and they tend to worship their muses. Except I get the sense this author doesn't understand how to love, except for landscapes and thunderstorms.
Beautiful descriptions, by the way. I couldn't get enough.
It was Nabakov writing Lo level energy. Our author showed no signs of ever having given thought to a woman, except to seem slightly puzzled over why anyone would want one, and his character reflects that mentality by his actions, though not by initial introduction. Curiouser and curiouser. But let's move on, nonetheless.
The Complete Short Novels (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Is there any way so many blatent contradictions could coexist? I find one. Only half the story can be true. But how to sort the truth from the fiction, in such a portrait? Fancy, trying to divide fiction into fact and lie! Or plausible and not, that has a milder ring, and thus closer to the shades of grey to which life is often prone. I'm aided by a number of sources: Tolstoy, an unfortunate young woman with blogging tendencies, a tv series titled 13 Reasons Why brilliantly or horribly accurate in its psychological depiction of victims , data on witch hunts- know what, let's stop there.
Because a witch hunt is precisely the description for what seems to be going on. Repressed and oft hysterical people, damaged but socialized people, set on an innocent whatever roots of truth may or not be, there are, of course, no such mythological creatures as witches and attempt to pin or spin any deed, word, or action into a flaw. It's identical to what happened in the Nazi movement.
Tolstoy's Anna met the same end, as 13, I mean.
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Socrates and Jesus both fell to the same phenomenon. I've had the opportunity but not the stomach to examine mass genocide in more detail, but I suspect the same principles apply. You'd think someday someone would get the hint. Picking a target and inventing flaws that actually stick with the sorts of people who think that The Onion is a real newsfeed will eventually kill the target, or else create a madman; when pushed to insanity, people can go one of two ways, try to kill everyone who harmed them, or else carry the cross to the hill quietly. Take the hemlock. What would any reasonable crazy person do?
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